In 2016, I reached the pinnacle of my career. I’m the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a learning and development consultancy firm and, in that year, I gained several clients and delivered talks and training programmes overseas. Taking those first few steps into an international business environment, it struck me that my next logical goal should be to officially globalise my business.
I was delighted by the momentum created by our teamwork and the loyalty of the clients we had been serving. We were closing deals fast and my confidence in our skills and business systems was sky high. Going back to school again as a professional and entrepreneur was never in my plan.
Then the unexpected happened. A couple of prospective clients declined our proposals for huge consulting projects.
I was taken aback. We were used to presenting various learning interventions and programmes and would always close the deal quite easily. When costs were an issue, we were able to create value by providing unique and relevant features to our services.
When we asked what factors led to our unsuccessful bid, I was told that I, as the main consultant, lacked the credentials of a postgraduate degree holder.
I was stunned. I could not believe my ears. I thought we had it all.
On the drive home that evening, I turned my disappointment and frustration into determination. I was going to do whatever it would take to overcome that feeling of rejection and inadequacy.
Sitting down at my home office desk, I searched for postgraduate programmes online and found some good options locally. I then pushed myself to consider some alternatives further afield and found some interesting executive programmes at Ivy League universities in the United States.
Then it dawned on me: ‘Why not explore studying in the oldest university in the English-speaking world?’ No sooner had I rapidly typed ‘best business courses in the best university in the world’ and hit enter on Google, than I found myself on the University of Oxford website where I discovered the Executive Diploma in Global Business.
I thought to myself, ‘if I am going to invest time, money, and effort in further studies, I might as well do it in the best institution in the world.’ Shooting for the stars I applied. The rest is history.
Having completed the programme and knowing what I know now, I can honestly summarise the diploma in one phrase: absolutely LIFE-CHANGING.
- The diploma is a very positive, holistic intervention into your career and business - it provides the knowledge needed to be competitive in the global business landscape, enhances your skills in evaluating various scenarios, and develops your attitude towards servant and crisis leadership.
- You learn as much from your peers as you do from the faculty - this programme is not for neophytes nor amateurs. It is for those who have already achieved a certain level of success in their careers, established a track record of strong leadership, and are determined to make a significant difference and positive impact on others.
- You broaden your horizons and capabilities farther than you ever have before - The Diploma in Global Business challenges you to think outside the box, step outside of your comfort zone, and come up with innovative solutions to pressing business problems.
- The Oxford experience is unforgettable - Enough said really! You won’t get this experience anywhere else. It’s difficult to put into words the lifetime friendships made, the deep conversations had, the relationships built with faculty and industry guest speakers, the unforgettable college dinners and the interactive discussions and workshops on some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.
- The programme has a remarkable impact in the long term - The diploma has strengthened my credibility and reputation in my industry, as well as my clients’ and colleagues’ trust in me, as a result. It has also completely changed the way I think about and approach challenges in my organisation. Instead of daily firefighting, I am now able to foresee things others don’t, to plan the best strategy and tactics to overcome these issues, and to come out stronger.
I may not have won those huge consulting projects in 2016, but with my Oxford Executive Diploma I can well say that I have achieved more than I could ever have imagined. Just like a carpenter with the best tools and a big vision of what he is building, I utilise everything I have learned and gained from my Oxford education to serve more people in the best way I possibly can.
It’s changed my life, it’s changing theirs and it will change yours too.